Sad but true: the average Brit thinks their life is only 29 per cent fun, a study has found. According to a poll of 2,000 adults, the average Brit considers less than a third of their day to be fun while the rest is spent doing work and chores we have to but would much rather not.
More than half of the people polled said they are not living life to the full while one in 10 even admitted that they are missing out on fun altogether. One reason may just be that we simply think we are living to work, with 45 per cent of our day spent working and a mere 29 per cent on fun which makes most of us feel all we do is eat, sleep and work.
It gets worse though, as one in four admit they can’t remember the last time they felt alive, with another one in ten saying it was at least a year ago.
Of all the things we consider fun, travelling or going on holiday tops the list followed by a night out with friends, skiing and going to a live music gig.
“You only get one chance so make sure you do something every day that makes you feel truly alive and happy,” says Inge Solheim, an internationally recognised polar guide and spokesperson for Helly Hansen, which commissioned the study.
A lack of money is most likely to stop people from having more fun in their life, followed by a lack of time and not making it a priority or not having anyone to do things with.
“It’s very sad to see that so many people are unfulfilled with their daily lives, and aren’t living in a way that brings them enjoyment. I worked as a banker in the city for over nine years, but in spite of my successful career, my childhood passion for the outdoors never left me. There was always something missing from my life, and I had a constant feeling that I should be experiencing nature, testing myself, feeling more alive. So I took a leap of faith and left that life behind to become an adventurer, and I can honestly say that I’ve never looked back. I know my chosen path may seem very extreme, but the point is I no longer feel that I’m working, I am having fun just by living my lifestyle and it makes me happy. Our sense of limitation is usually psychological, and I urge people to make small changes to their daily lives to bring them more fun.”
Her tips? “Find a profession that fulfills you, make the most of the spare time you do have and make changes to your current way of life if it doesn’t make you feel very alive. My tip? Don’t equate fun with money.
While some fun activities, such as holidays or nights out may require some expenditure, there are still an array of activities that are fun and won’t break the bank. Especially when the nights are drawing in and days are getting colder, there are homely delights and outdoor escapades that will cheer you up instantly and inject some fun into an otherwise dreary day.
What is more, once you get into the habit of creating your own fun at a budget in winter, think of all the endless possibilities you will have in summer.
Spend time in nature
It doesn’t matter what the weather is like outdoors – a 20-minute walk in the cold can be a most refreshing exercise to lift your spirits and inject a bit of fun into your day. The key is to take as many different routes as possible so you always chance upon something new – a new scenery, the changing landscape as the seasons change, even the people and animals you see along the path. What’s better, it doesn’t cost a penny and it will help you shift the pounds (the weighty kind, that is!)
A family day trip
If you think the costs will add up, this is one to save for pay day. However, it is easy to cut costs by making the most of family day out offers if you are travelling by train and making your snacks at home to avoid spending money on food. If you are taking a road trip, all it will cost you is the money to fill up your tank. A few years back, Hubby and I used to do Saturday trips to nearby towns where we spent most of the day walking around and taking pictures followed by coffee or a two-for-one pub lunch. We always came back home with the satisfaction of a day spent doing something fun and different.
Watching your favourite TV programme
Let’s face it, in the UK, we all pay for TV service and a TV license; once that’s out of the way, you have endless box time at your disposal. Set aside a time to catch up on your favourite TV shows – maybe nothing out of the ordinary for most of us but certainly fun.
Having a drink outdoors a sunny day
This is one activity best kept for when the weather gets a little warmer. Having said that, there are those God-sent days in winter too when the sun is out and it feels like the universe is lifted out of the wintery gloom. Make the most of your days by wrapping up warm and sitting outdoors at your local pub or cafe. If the cold gets too much, you can always find a nice snug corner indoors, preferably by the fireplace – if there is one – to carry on the fun.
Driving along country roads on a sunny day
This has to be one of my favourite paastimes. In the UK we are blessed with rolling hills and meandering country roads passing through quaint hamlets and small villages. Jump in your car, with no route in mind, and see where the road takes you. If you happen on a pictareque village or a dreamy landscape, get out and get some fresh air. Don’t underestimate how fun this could be.
A night in with friends
Instead of spending money on lavish dinners why not invite friends and loved ones for a dinner party? To make it budget-friendly you can cook at home and ask everyone to bring a bottle of their preferred drink. Whatever the menu, buying your ingredients and making it at home will cost far less than dining out and without scrimping on the fun factor.
Netflix & Chill
Or Amazon, or Apple TV. Whatever your choice of binge watching, an afternoon or a whole day set aside to watch a box set or some of the latest movie releases is bound to make your otherwise lacklustre week feel more fun. Pop some corn and put your feet up and chill.
Find a new hobby – or rekindle an old one
Baking, knitting, painting, jewellery making… The opportunities are endless when you begin to think outside the box. You can explore classes and courses available within your areas, or to keep the costs down, start at home. Modern technology makes it a lot easier to find online tutorials and get on with a new hobby. Learning something new and focussing your energy on creating will reinvigorate you more than anything else can. If you have a hobby you have cast aside, long winter months when there is little to do outdoors is the perfect time to pick it up.
Playing in the garden with the children
No doubt life is hectic for those with children, but also more fun. Imagine hours spent playing indoors or when the weather allows even out in the park with them. The beauty of playing with children is they are far more inclined to imaginative thinking and can help you see the fun in the ordinary far more than you can on your own.
Get a pet – not just for Christmas
You know what they say, “a dog is not just for Christmas” so if you are hankering for a furry friend because the festive season is upon us, you may as well forget it now. However, if you are willing to go the distance and commit to the responsibility that comes with having a pet to look after, a little ball of fur will bring heaps of fun into your day.